GUWAHATI: Meghalaya activist Agnes Kharshiing was attacked and left in a serious condition by suspected coal mafias in the state’s East Jaintia Hills district on Thursday.
Kharshiing, who is the president of Shillong-based Civil Society Women’s Organisation, sustained head injuries and was rushed to a local hospital. However, as her condition deteriorated, she was rushed to the NEIGRIHMS hospital in state capital Shillong.
The incident occurred at Tuber Sohshrieh in East Jaintia Hills district around noon when she and fellow activist Anita Sangma visited the site to take stock of coal mining despite by a ban by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Kharshiing’s brother John Kharshiing said Sangma too was attacked. The driver of their vehicle escaped unhurt, he said.
“The information that I received was that they were taking pictures and filming at the illegal coal mining site when a mob suddenly appeared before them and launched an attack,” he said.
According to reports, the duo was brutally assaulted and dragged into a jungle. Later, Sangma managed to crawl her way back to a nearby road and shouted for help. Kharshiing was spotted in the jungle, unconscious.
The attack was perpetrated a day after based on Kharshiing’s complaint, the police had seized some coal-laden trucks in Shillong. She had been vocal against coal mining and exposed a number of cases of mining and transportation of coal ever since the NGT enforced the ban.